Swiss national football coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has named three newcomers for the crucial 2012 European Cup qualifying match against England on June 4.This content was published on May 27, 2011 - 15:42
One stalwart, Hakan Yakin of FC Lucerne, has been dropped from the team announced on Friday.
The uncapped trio are all forwards: Granit Xhaka of FC Basel, a member of the Swiss Under-17 squad which won the World Cup in 2009, Admir Mehmedi of FC Zurich, and Innocent Emeghara who plays for Grasshoppers.
Hitzfeld said Yakin had not been playing as well as he had at the start of the season. “But the door is not closed to Hakan,” he added.
Hitzfeld’s squad choice was limited after the retirement of Alex Frei and Marco Streller from international football. However, experienced defender Philippe Senderos is back in the team after a long absence caused by an injury to his Achilles‘ tendon.
Only one member of the team – defender Stephane Grichting – is over 30.
After four of eight qualification matches, Switzerland have only four points – Group G leaders England and Montenegro are both on ten. The other members of the group are Wales and Bulgaria.
To keep their faint qualification hopes alive, the Swiss must beat England. In the opening match at home last September, they lost 3-1.
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